Why Europe Must End Its 30-Year Digital Winter to Ensure Its Long-Run Future

Digital Nomad Visas Surge Alongside Demand for Faster Cross-Border Payments

traveler with backpack and laptop

Digital nomads, a new breed of professionals, have emerged in recent years, reshaping the traditional employment landscape. These individuals have embraced a lifestyle that combines work with travel, leveraging technology to work remotely from anywhere in the world.

As this concept gains momentum, countries worldwide, including Estonia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Tanzania, are recognizing the potential economic, tourism and innovation benefits and are introducing special visas or residency programs tailored to attract remote workers.

Japan is the latest to join this growing trend of countries vying for global workers. Last month, the country’s Immigration Services Agency (ISA) announced the launch of a digital nomad visa by the end of March, The Japan Times reported, enabling nationals of nearly 50 countries to live and work in the country for up to six months at a time.

Similarly, South Korea introduced a digital nomad or “workation visa” earlier this year, allowing remote workers employed by foreign companies to stay for up to one year, which can be renewed for an additional year provided they meet certain income and employment criteria.

Canada also launched a six-month visa for digital nomads last July, with recent clarifications from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) emphasizing the need for digital nomads to apply for work permits if they secure employment with a Canadian company.

Meeting the Payment Needs of the Digital Nomad

While cross-border hiring presents an appealing opportunity for companies seeking to diversify their workforce, the reality is that managing a geographically dispersed team comes with inherent complexities.

“It’s very hard to manage in reality,” Papaya Global CEO Eynat Guez told PYMNTS in a 2022 panel interview, especially as many companies grapple with inflation, rising wages and cost cutting.

Additionally, the restructuring efforts of many organizations have sparked questions regarding the necessity of maintaining workers in high-cost locations versus outsourcing jobs to more economical destinations.

In such a landscape, the work-from-home model is being reassessed, with remote staff facing heightened risks of layoffs last year compared to their in-office counterparts.

As Guez explained, “It’s not just a matter of ‘let’s remove the global workforce,’ it’s about ‘let’s be wiser and more efficient in the ways in which we work as an organization.’”

When it comes to compensation, paying digital nomads can be a complex endeavor due to stringent regulations surrounding currencies in various countries.

However, partnering with platforms like Papaya Global can help ease the burden, ensuring compliance with regulations and tax obligations while facilitating seamless payment processing for freelancers and employees, regardless of their location.

But while compliance remains crucial, it’s not the only factor at play. GoLance CEO Michael Brooks emphasized that “speed of the payments can be even more important than how much workers get paid,” highlighting the significant impact faster payment cycles can have in attracting talent across diverse industries.

This aligns with recent PYMNTS Intelligence research, which revealed that access to earned wages holds considerable appeal for many workers. In fact, nearly 60% of individuals with earned wage access (EWA) programs reported utilizing it, and 96% of companies offering EWA noted that their employees appreciated it, finding it instrumental in talent acquisition.

For digital nomads, the ability to instantly access a portion of their earned wages before the traditional payday can be a game changer, empowering them to seize opportunities for exploration and adventure without being hindered by financial constraints.